During last month's NFL Scouting Combine, Shaq Lawson told AtlantaFalcons.comhe believes his game fits Dan Quinn's scheme. His college numbers—12.5 sacks, 24.5 tackles for loss in 2015—and tape certainly reflect that notion.
And, while many experts think the 6-foot-3, 269-pounder will be taken before Atlanta is on the clock, it wouldn't be a huge surprise if he's isn't one of the first 16 players to .
This brings us to Daniel Jeremiah’s latest mock on NFL.com, which has the Falcons taking Lawson at No. 17 overall. Jeremiah's update is noteworthy because it shows why the ex-Clemson Tiger, who's listed as the 13th-best prospect on Rotoworld's Consensus Big Board, can wind up in Atlanta: defensive end isn't the biggest need for any club slotted to pick between 10-16.
Jeremiah's mock, as well as fellow NFL.com writer Lance Zierlein’s, has the Giants (10th), Bears (11th), Saints (12th), Dolphins (13th), Raiders (14th), Rams (15th) and Lions (16th) disregarding DE with their first round selections. A quick glance at each team's depth chart shows why that series of events could unfold.
New Orleans, for example, needs a wide receiver after releasing Marques Colston. So Laquon Treadwell would make sense at No. 11. Miami just cut former Pro Bowler Brent Grimes and needs secondary help. Cornerback Eli Apple might fit there.
New York needs bodies at offensive tackle; Chicago is thin at running back without Matt Forte; Los Angeles needs skill position players; Oakland already has a star edge rusher, as does Detroit.
So it's not unreasonable to think Lawson may fall into Atlanta's lap. Crazier things happen at the draft every year.